Amplify is working with a group of community leaders to implement many of the strategies recommended in the National Academies of Science Report on Reducing Underage Drinking.
These strategies are aligned with recommendations from the research based program, Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol.
The coalition is following the Strategic Prevention Framework as outlined by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).
The group meets monthly alternating between Slidell and Covington. If you are interested in learning more about the coalition, contact Libby at the office at (985) 727-7710.
Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol
If we do no more than pepper kids with anti-drinking messages, things are not likely to get any better.
– Richard J Bonnie, Chair
Committee on Developing a Strategy to Reduce and prevent Underage Drinking
Underage drinking can not be successfully addressed by focusing on youth alone. Greater attention must be given to environments in which drinking takes place, and the circumstances in which adults drink.
– National Academies of Science Report to Congress on Preventing Underage Drinking
Amplify is working with a coalition of community leaders to change the environment in our community. The vision is a community with a unified voice that says underage drinking is illegal, dangerous, and will not be tolerated.
Through partnerships with law enforcement, parents, community leaders, and others, Amplify is working to promote an environment that doesn’t allow youth under 21 to drink.
Current Strategies Amplify is working on
Open House Party Law/Social Host Law
Currently, Louisiana doesn’t have a law that specifically addresses parents allowing youth (other than their own) to drink. Most teens report that they drink at a friend’s house, usually during a party. Current laws prohibit adults providing alcohol to youth. Law Enforcement is sometimes not able to arrest adults at a party where youth have alcohol unless they can prove that the adults provided the alcohol to youth. This new law would allow law enforcement to arrest a party host if they should have reasonably known that youth under 21 were drinking alcohol.
Enforcement of Existing Laws
Amplify is working with law enforcement agencies to increase enforcement of Louisiana’s laws about underage drinking. Amplify Youth will be going to shift change meetings to encourage officers to take a strong stand against underage drinking, including arresting youth who possess alcohol, parents who provide alcohol, and stores that sell alcohol to youth.
Currently, youth who are arrested for possession of alcohol in Louisiana are subject to a $100 fine, 6 months in jail, and losing their driver’s license for 6 months.
Alcohol Advertising and Promotion
There are very few restrictions on when and where alcohol companies are allowed to advertise and what events they are allowed to sponsor. Many concerts, festivals, and events held in St. Tammany and Washington Parishes are geared toward youth, however, the main sponsor is sometimes an alcohol company. A group of youth from PRIDE are working to assist stores and event organizers with eliminating or reducing alcohol sponsorship at places frequented by youth.
The effect of advertising on children is well-documented. A USA Today survey found that teens say alcohol ads have greater influence on the desire to drink in general than the desire to buy a particular brand.
A study of children ages nine to 11 found that children were more
familiar with Budweiser’s television frogs than Kellogg’s Tony the
Tiger, the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, or Smokey the Bear
To learn more about alcohol advertising and its effects on youth, visit The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at www.camy.org
Media and Public Information Campaigns
Amplify is implementing focused campaigns to educate the community about the dangers of underage drinking and the importance of preventing youth from obtaining alcohol. Radio ads, newspaper articles and ads, direct mail to parents, ads in movie theaters, and community meetings are among the methods Amplify is using to get the word out about underage drinking.